Southland is grounded in one of television’s most familiar and traditional forms, yet in each episode it shatters the traditions and startles with the unfamiliar. It’s not enough to say we’ve seen other police procedurals, seen tough officers in gritty Los Angeles neighborhoods. It’s not enough to say we’ve seen cops bend the rules or take heroic chances. Nor is it enough to say we know personal lives intersect with the professional in these settings and circumstances. The point is that we have so rarely seen these things done so well. Routine traffic stops erupt into major events. Violent confrontations occur, yet the day concludes in mundane fashion. Personal and private matters hover at the fringes of dramatic moments. Threaded through these familiar story lines are richly defined character developments. Noble acts devolve into celebrity arrogance. Good intentions are sidetracked by expediency. As in every great police drama, daily work offers versions of what it means to be human and humane, violent and compassionate, cynical and committed. Cop shows are television staples because they provide a crucible in which to test such matters week after week. This series never turns down the heat. Southland burns through these familiar struggles with an intensity rarely matched in television history and for that receives a Peabody Award.
Created By: Ann Biderman. Executive Producers: Andrew Stearn, Jonathan Lisco, Christopher Chulack, John Wells. Producer: Jon Paré. Directors: Christopher Chulack, Nelson McCormick, Felix Alcala, Allison Anders, Guy Norman Bee. Writers: Jonathan Lisco, Cheo Hodari Coker, Jason Horwitch, Sara Gran, Heather Zuhlke, Etan Frankel. Cast: Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Regina King, Ben McKenzie. Special Guest Stars: Lucy Liu, C. Thomas Howell. Directors of Photography: J. Michael Muro, Cameron Duncan, Dana Gonzalez. Editor: Russell Denove, Milkos Wright.